the history of yeovil's pubs





swan (1)

Borough / Pytt Lane (Middle Street)


The Swan, in its various guises, began life at least as early as 1646 when it is mentioned in the will of woollen draper Thomas Marshe. It probably closed between the last record of 1778 and the opening of the Swan in Park Street that was known to be operating by 1839.

There is some little confusion with the address of this inn, it being recorded variously as Burrow / Borough (1664 and 1758) and Middle Street / Pytt Lane (1646 and 1707). It is clearly the same inn at both locations since Samuel Daniell, a banker, was the owner of both and the most obvious explanation would presume that the inn was located on or close to the corner site, where the Borough meets Middle Street. It was described in a lease of 1802 as "next to the house of Giles Hayne on the west then Christopher Jeanes then Samuel Daniell then Samuel Daniell, his son and since John Daniell, son of the last Samuel Daniell" - even though John Daniel had died in 1797. Samuel Daniell senior was a glove manufacturer and custos of the Woborn Almshouse, his son Samuel Daniell junior was a rich draper and linen mercer. In its edition of 22 March 1780 the Caledonian Mercury noted "Messrs John and Samuel Daniell, bankers, at Yeovil" these were the sons of Samuel Daniell the Younger.

Less easy to explain is the variance of the establishment's name, described in an almost random fashion as the Swan, the Black Swan and the White Swan. The obvious conclusions are either that there were two pubs in the Borough at the time; the Black Swan and the White Swan or, alternatively, people just weren't that fussed about what the pub was called as long as the word 'Swan' was in the title somewhere - but the truth is not likely to emerge on the present evidence.

owners / lessees / licensees


1646 – Thomas Marshe left 'The Swanne' in 'Middle Streete' to his daughter Mary Marshe.
1664 – Licensee not named (Rate Book) but listed as the Swan with a rate of 4d.
1679 – John Shandy (Notes of LC Hayward)
1697 – Sam Danyell (Rate Book) with a rate of 3½d.
1701 – Sam Daniell (Notes of LC Hayward) listed as White Swan
1707 – Samuel Daniell (Indenture) listed as Swann in Middle Street or Pytt Lane
1715 – Sam Daniell (Notes of LC Hayward) listed as White Swan
1750 – Knight (Poor Rate Book)
1760 – Rated ¾d (Poor Rate)
1778 – Jesty (Notes of LC Hayward)




Courtesy of Emma Vendome Taylor

An extract from the 1646 will of woollen draper Thomas Marshe - "Item I give and Bequeath unto my daughter Mary my house in Middlestreete comonly called the Swanne with the appurtenances and Goods...".



Burrow - The Swan, 4d. (Rate Book)


John Shandy (Notes of LC Hayward)


Sam Danyell - 3½d. (Rate Book)


Sam Daniell, The White Swan (Notes of LC Hayward)


Indenture: 8 September: Samuel Daniell the elder of Yeovil, mercer, Samuel Daniell the younger of Yeovil, mercer, son and heir of Samuel Daniell the elder, and Samuel Whetcombe of Weymouth, John Saunders, gentleman of Yeovil, and Jermiah Hayne - messuage in Henford; messuage at the sign of the Swann in Middle Street or Pytt Lane. (Deeds 366 - SRO DD/X/OX c1483)


Sam Daniell, the White Swan - Notes of LC Hayward


Langdon, the Black Swan


Knight, White Swan (Poor Rate Book)


Black Swan, Borough (Poor Rate Book)


Borough, White Swan - ¾d. (Poor Rate Book)


Black Swan (Land Tax Return, SRO Q/RE.1)


Jesty (Notes of LC Hayward)